Thank you to SRSC Member Mary Friedman for this guest post:
In just over a week I will be running the Big Sur Half Marathon in Monterey. A destination race. A weekend away with my husband and friends while the kids are at Grandma’s. A challenge.
I have always been an active person and since college competitive in non-team sports. I raced mountain bikes in college in Boston and raced road bikes and did triathalons in my 20’s after moving to the San Francisco Bay Area. I then spent 8 years living in the Midwest and 6 years in the Pacific Northwest and due to weather, work, and kids I became a runner. To keep myself motivated I try and race 2-3 times a year, from 5k to marathons. I’m not really that fast, but confidently finish ahead of the mid pack and in some small races can even place top 10 in my age group.
My family relocated back to Northern California just over a year ago. I missed my work out friends and running routine (I had finally found a couple friends as crazy as me who liked running at 5:30 in the morning!) and struggled to find some sort of athletic community. A friend got me interested in crossfit and after finishing on-ramp in May I was hooked.
Over the summer I decided to commit to another half marathon. Now was going to be the challenge of combining crossfit with endurance training. I pared down my running to 2-3 times a week- a track workout, tempo run and a long run. It was nice to have intent for each run and not just log mile after mile with no purpose. I began taking Fitness classes and Olympic Lifting on my non-running days. I enjoyed going to SRSC and seeing familiar faces who also liked to challenge themselves both physically and mentally. One day I confided in Joanna what my plan was and after chatting for a while committed to trying to set a PR for the race. She set me up on an endurance-type strengthening program and although it has been strenuous it has also given me more self-confidence in my running ability.
I think crossfit has been a great supplement to my running. Crossfit has taught me to welcome a challenge not with an ‘I can’t do this’ attitude but with a ‘wow, this is going to be hard but I’m up for it’ mind set. I have learned more about pacing myself through a WOD and getting used to being uncomfortable during exercise. I can push myself out of my comfort zone either with a new movement, more weight or a longer time. I find on my runs the little voice is now saying ‘I’ve got this’ and not ‘when is this going to be over’.
I have a short one-week taper ahead of me. During this time I will try and keep the self doubts away. Have I done enough? Should I have run more, faster, longer? Maybe this crossfit thing wasn’t such a good idea? Can I handle the hurt? There really is nothing left to do but rest, eat well and stay healthy. I’ll enjoy a little more free time in my day. I’ll keep moving so I don’t forget how, but won’t be trying to set any PRs until Sunday. I will focus on the little voice saying ‘I’ve got this’.